Things I Ate At The C.N.E. In 2016

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2016

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2016

This year was a modest one for food adventuring at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Between work obligations and a different kind of adventure, I was only able to make it down to The Ex for one big session on September 4.

My spider-senses told me this wasn’t going to be a banner year for stunt food and, well, it wasn’t.

That said, I still knocked down some weird and crazy stuff. Here’s what I ate…

Fran's Bacon Croissundae. This was a vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate and strawberry sauce, stuck in the middle of a croissant, with a stick of bacon stuck in the middle of all of that. It was also my breakfast. The bacon was kinda unnecessary and this felt like a rare misstep for Fran's. 6.2/10

Fran’s Bacon Croissundae. This was a vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate and strawberry sauce, stuck in the middle of a croissant, with a stick of bacon stuck in the middle of all of that. It was also my breakfast. The bacon was kinda unnecessary and this felt like a rare misstep for Fran’s. 6.1/10

 

Brewster's Salt Water Taffy, Banana. Sarah had brought these home from a previous Ex trip. Although they're pretty standard taffy strips, they're from a genuine through-the-generations family recipe from an independent food purveyor, so points for that. 6/10

Brewster’s Salt Water Taffy, Banana. Sarah had brought these home from a previous Ex trip. Although they’re pretty standard taffy strips, they’re from a genuine through-the-generations family recipe from an independent food purveyor, so points for that. 6/10

 

Raclette-Suisse. "Broiled Suisse raclette cheese scraped over a bed of crispy-fried potatoes and pickles." For the simple pleasure of hot, melty cheese slathered on hash browns this was pretty great. 7.2/10

Raclette-Suisse. “Broiled Suisse raclette cheese scraped over a bed of crispy-fried potatoes and pickles.” For the simple pleasure of hot, melty cheese slathered on hash browns this was pretty great. 7.2/10

 

Canada Dry Cherry Vanilla Ginger Ale. If you've read any of my past C.N.E. food reports you'll know all about my sadly failed attempts to escape the oppressive ubiquity of Coca-Cola products. It can't be done, so instead I've chosen to embrace the adventure. Sometimes, like when you combine cherry and vanilla with your ginger ale, that adventure isn't necessary. 5/10

Canada Dry Cherry Vanilla Ginger Ale. If you’ve read any of my past C.N.E. food reports you’ll know all about my sadly failed attempts to escape the oppressive ubiquity of Coca-Cola products. It can’t be done, so instead I’ve chosen to embrace the adventure. Sometimes, like when you combine cherry and vanilla with your ginger ale, that adventure isn’t necessary. 5/10

 

Epic Burger's The Churro Burger. It's cheeseburger inbetween two churro "buns." The burger itself was benign, but the combination of churro + burger wasn't exactly harmonious. There was little structural integrity (it began to fall calamitously apart after two bites) and didn't really make any sense. I ended up deconstructing the whole thing and eating the individual pieces separately. Churro "bun": 7/10 Churro "bun" with cheese stuck on it: 6.7/10 Hamburger patty: 6/10 The Churro Burger: 5/10 P.S. When I got my burger I was in line with a police officer who was buying the Krispy Kreme Hamburger (see my 2011 review). Cops really *do* like donuts!

Epic Burger’s The Churro Burger. It’s cheeseburger inbetween two churro “buns.” The burger itself was benign, but the combination of churro + burger wasn’t exactly harmonious. There was little structural integrity (it began to fall calamitously apart after two bites) and didn’t really make any sense. I ended up deconstructing the whole thing and eating the individual pieces separately.
Churro “bun”: 7/10
Churro “bun” with cheese stuck on it: 6.7/10
Hamburger patty: 6/10
The Churro Burger: 5/10
P.S. When I got my burger I was in line with a police officer who was buying the Krispy Kreme Hamburger (see my 2011 review). Cops really *do* like donuts!

 

Salted Caramel Fudge. Hitting up the fudge booth is one of my C.N.E. vices. The salted caramel may be the tastiest, texturally most awesome one I've tried yet. 8.3/10

Salted Caramel Fudge. Hitting up the fudge booth is one of my C.N.E. vices. The salted caramel may be the tastiest and texturally most awesome one I’ve tried yet. 8.3/10

 

R.I.P. Gene Wilder. I'm more of a Blazing Saddles person myself.

R.I.P. Gene Wilder. I’m more of a Blazing Saddles person myself.

 

Championship Carrot. These are what championship carrots look like. The part I enjoy most about this is knowing that someone pulled those out of the ground and said to themselves, "These are fucking perfect. I'm totally going to enter them into the C.N.E. vegetable competition and win a goddamn ribbon."

Championship Carrot. These are what championship carrots look like. The part I enjoy most about this is knowing that someone pulled those out of the ground and said to themselves, “These are fucking perfect. I’m totally going to enter them into the C.N.E. vegetable competition and win a goddamn ribbon.”

 

Butter Woes. Churning up the butter with my woes.

Butter Woes. Churning up the butter with my woes.

 

"Big Barrel Root Beer." This was a bit of duplicitous fuckery. When I saw a couple of these "Big Barrel Root Beer" vendors around the grounds I was stoked. What was this strange new root beer? I had to have me some of this delicious new (not Coke brand) elixir. Then I bought some. It was just Barq's Root Beer from a fountain tap hidden behind the barrel. Bullshit. 1/10

Big Barrel Root Beer.” This was a bit of duplicitous fuckery. When I saw a couple of these “Big Barrel Root Beer” vendors around the grounds I was stoked. What was this strange new root beer? I had to have me some of this delicious new (not Coke brand) elixir. Then I bought some. It was just Barq’s Root Beer from a fountain tap hidden behind the barrel. Bullshit. 1/10

 

Eat My Bowl Roast Beef In A Bowl. It was just slightly gristly roast beef and gravy in a bread bowl. With some mild horseradish sauce. Meh. 6/10

Eat My Bowl Roast Beef In A Bowl. It was just slightly gristly roast beef and gravy in a bread bowl. With some mild horseradish sauce. Meh. 6/10

 

Deep Fried Butter Tart. Deep frying things tends to make them more often in most cases. But when you deep fry a butter tart it mostly just erases the butter tart's identity and leaves some gooey sugar pie slurry in the middle of some fried dough. It doesn't suck, but it isn't magical either. 6/4/10

Deep Fried Butter Tart. Deep frying things tends to make them more awesome in most cases. But when you deep fry a butter tart it mostly just erases the butter tart’s identity and leaves some gooey sugar pie slurry in the middle of some fried dough. It doesn’t suck, but it isn’t magical either. 6.4/10

 

Fran's Blueberry Pie Milkshake. One of this year's premier stunt foods, the Fran's Blueberry Pie Milkshake featured a slice of real blueberry pie blended with real ice cream along with whip cream, rainbow sprinkles, Smarties, cotton candy, a chocolate wafer and an actual piece of blueberry pie on top of it. At no point did this thing suck — the pie was good, the wafer was fun and the actual shake was really good. It felt more like a mining expedition than a taste journey, though. First you had to deal with the cotton candy, then you had to navigate the cream 'n' sprinkle outer rim (getting sprinkles ALL over yourself). After that you had to break through the blueberry pie layer, until finally you were able to unlock the murky blue shake core. It was tasty, but it was also a chore. 7.1/10

Fran’s Blueberry Pie Milkshake. One of this year’s premier stunt foods, the Fran’s Blueberry Pie Milkshake featured a slice of real blueberry pie blended with real ice cream along with whip cream, rainbow sprinkles, Smarties, cotton candy, a chocolate wafer and an actual piece of blueberry pie on top of it. At no point did this thing suck — the pie was good, the wafer was fun and the actual shake was really good. It felt more like a mining expedition than a taste journey, though. First you had to deal with the cotton candy, then you had to navigate the cream ‘n’ sprinkle outer rim (getting sprinkles ALL over yourself). After that you had to break through the blueberry pie layer, until finally you were able to unlock the murky blue shake core. It was tasty, but it was also a chore. 7.1/10

 

Cookie Dough Me Deep Fried Peanut Butter Cup. Cookie Dough Me's set-up is impressively locked down. They've already got piles of deep fried things — Oreos, cookie dough bits, peanut butter cups — on the ready in hot trays, looking to all the world like a series of trays of Chinese chicken balls. Except, instead of micro-squares of chicken surrounded by tasty batter, these have chocolate goodness. The peanut butter cup was surprisingly delicate, all things considered. Though it's butter cuppiness did get diminished somewhat by the deep frying. 7/10

Cookie Dough Me Deep Fried Peanut Butter Cup. Cookie Dough Me’s set-up is impressively locked down. They’ve already got piles of deep fried things — Oreos, cookie dough bits, peanut butter cups — on the ready in hot trays, looking to all the world like a series of trays of Chinese chicken balls. Except, instead of micro-squares of chicken surrounded by tasty batter, these have chocolate goodness. The peanut butter cup was surprisingly delicate, all things considered. Its butter cuppiness did, however, get diminished somewhat by the deep frying. 7/10

 

Bug Bistro Bug Dog. An all-beef frank blended with cricket protein and covered in Red Hot, lime slaw and mustard-roasted crickets. Before I started I picked off the roasted crickets that were the most "leggy." I'd heard that the legs got caught in your teeth and that was the level of gross I wasn't prepared to deal with. The hot dog itself was a bit greasy, but I couldn't tell whether that was the result of reckless prep or the dog being greasy. And with the sly trick of putting crunchy coleslaw on the dog along with the roasted crickets it completely disguises any textural creep outs you might get from eating bugs. Basically, the hot dog tasted like a hot dog. And if you gave it to someone at a barbecue without it being covered in roasted crickets they'd probably have no idea they were eating a part-beef, part-bug protein wiener. 7/10

Bug Bistro Bug Dog. An all-beef frank blended with cricket protein and covered in Red Hot, lime slaw and mustard-roasted crickets. Before I started I picked off the roasted crickets that were the most “leggy.” I’d heard that the legs get caught in your teeth and that was the level of gross I wasn’t prepared to deal with. The hot dog itself was a bit greasy, but I couldn’t tell whether that was the result of reckless prep or the dog being greasy. And with the sly trick of putting crunchy coleslaw on the dog along with the roasted crickets it completely disguises any textural creep outs you might get from eating bugs. Basically, the hot dog tasted like a hot dog. And if you gave it to someone at a barbecue without it being covered in roasted crickets they’d probably have no idea they were eating a part-beef, part-bug protein wiener. 7/10

Additional reading:
Things I ate at the CNE in 2015. Including Corrado’s S&M Burger and Iron Skillet’s Frosted Flakes Chicken On A Stick.

Things I ate at the CNE in 2014. Including Fran’s Thanksgiving Turkey Waffle and Coco’s Fried Chicken Cocoa Chicken.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2013. Including Nutella Jalapeno Poppers and the S’more Dog.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2012. Including the Chocolate Eclair Dog and Bacon Nation Nutella BBBLT.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2011. Including the Krispy Kreme Hamburger and Deep Fried Twix.

Things I ate at the C.N.E. in 2010. Including Deep Fried Butter and Taco In A Bag.

Bug Dog bitches! #CNE #lunch #kaleandcricketswillfeedusafterthefoodwars

A video posted by Aaron Brophy (@broph666) on

6 Comments

Filed under Food, The Misadventures Of

Exploring Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future

Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future

Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future

Back in the late 1980s there was a post-apocalyptic sci fi kids show called Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future.

The show had a fascinating merchandise tie-in — the toys could be used to get into “interactive” laser battles with the television program.

The thing about that though: the toys were really expensive and the particularly heavy and dark storyline behind the show weren’t exactly kid-friendly.

Sarah wrote about all this in a new feature for The A.V. Club.

To read it click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Culture, Recollections, Shameless Promotion, Television

12 Things We Learned At Psycho Fest Las Vegas

Things got intergalactic when Oresund Space Collective performed.

Things got intergalactic when Oresund Space Collective performed.

Last week Team Risky Fuel went on an adventure to Las Vegas to attend the mindbending stoner rock festival Psycho Fest, being held at the Hard Rock Casino.

We watched four days of doom-y and psych-y rock, executed a few Vegas lifehacks and took in the following bands:

Thursday, August 25
Mothership @ Paradise Pool
Mac Sabbath @ Paradise Pool
Mudhoney @ Paradise Pool

Friday, August 26
Black Heart Procession @ The Joint
Yob @ The Joint
Wovenhand @ The Joint
Down @ The Joint
Beelzefuzz @ Vinyl
Drive Like Jehu @ The Joint
Brian Posehn @ The Joint
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown @ The Joint

Saturday, August 27
Has A Shadow @ Vinyl
The Budos Band @ The Joint
A Place To Bury Strangers @ The Joint
Beezlebong @ Vinyl
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats @ The Joint
Blue Oyster Cult @ The Joint

Sunday, August 28
Oresund Space Collective @ Vinyl
Truth And Janey @ The Joint
Danava @ The Joint
Hornss @ Vinyl
Fu Manchu @ The Joint
Candlemass @ The Joint
Fireball Ministry @ Paradise Pool
Tales Of Murder & Dust @ Paradise Pool
Alice Cooper @ The Joint

I wrote about our travels for AUX TV. To read about all the best and/or weirdest bits (Mac Sabbath, the Black Sabbath McDonald’s-themed parody band!) in handy itemized list form, click here.

Arthur Brown performs “Fire”

#ArthurBrown #fire #burn

A video posted by Aaron Brophy (@broph666) on

Leave a comment

Filed under Concerts, Music, Shameless Promotion, The Misadventures Of, Travel

Idris Elba Is Training For A Kickboxing Fight, Coach Says He’s Legit

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

Idris Elba, titular magnetic star of the cop show Luther, business-minded gangster in crime epic The Wire, and somewhat awkward puzzle piece in the Thor movie franchise, is trying to become a professional kickboxer.

At age 44.

Sarah spoke to Elba’s coach Kieran Keddle about the actor’s training progress in a feature for Fightland.

Keddle says Elba’s legit.

To read the full story click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Health, Jock Stuff, Shameless Promotion, Television

From Operators To Wolf Parade With Dan Boeckner

Dan Boeckner

Dan Boeckner

At this point it’s pretty clear Dan Boeckner is one of the coolest dudes in the indie rock music world.

Not only is he in the reunited Wolf Parade and was one-half of the RIP Handsome Furs, his newest band Operators are pretty rippin’ in their own right.

I spoke to Boeckner about all these things and more in a feature for SOCAN’s Words & Music magazine.

To read the feature click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Shameless Promotion

10 Weirdest Martial Arts World Records

Walnut cracking

Walnut cracking

Mujtaba Hassan Mughal can smash 92 walnuts in one minute using nunchucks.

Michael Gonzalez broke 43 concrete blocks in one minute front flipping and using his head to break them.

These are just two of the most outlandish martial arts world records Sarah compiled for a list in Asian World Of Martial Arts.

To read the full list click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jock Stuff, Shameless Promotion

Samaritan News 10 Pack: Jay Z, Ricky Martin, Tiger Protection In Nepal, More

Jay Z

Jay Z

I’ve been doing a bunch of stuff  over at the music-ish charity ‘n’ good news website Samaritan Mag. Here’s a batch of recent news pieces:

New Knowledge Center Hopes To Improve Mental Health For Students Of Colour

Joey Bada$$ Says To ‘Fight Back Intellectually’ Against Police, Anti-Black Violence

Unison Benevolent Fund Events Raise $75,000 For Musicians and Industry Members

Jay Z’s New Song ‘Spiritual’ Addresses Police Shootings Against Black Americans

Coldplay, Muse, Foals Part Of Oxfam-Glastonbury Live Album To Help Refugees

Stop Gun Violence Now: Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam & More Sign Billboard’s Open Letter to Congress

MLSE Giving Police $50,000 To Help At-Risk Youth Play Sports

#MusiCaresChallenge Wants You To Declare Your Favourite Album For Good Cause

Ricky Martin Makes Case For Gun Control Post-Orlando Shooting

Tiger Protection In Nepal Is Working, Says WWF Canada

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Politics, Shameless Promotion